The mission of the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all students in the San Diego Unified School District in cooperation with the National PTA, the California State PTA, and Ninth District PTA.
2021-23 SDUCPTA Executive Board
President – Holly Wright – firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications – Janis Tan – email@example.com
Advocacy / Legislation – Mahogany Taylor – firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary – Betsy Mueller – email@example.com
Treasurer – Barbara Flannery – firstname.lastname@example.org
Auditor – Ed Franqui
Financial Secretary – Christine Marsolini
Historian – Kelly Young – email@example.com
Outreach – Amy Wood
Membership – Kristyn Pittenger
Hospitality – Heather Davis
Reflections – NiChelle Cannon
Contact Us – https://sdcouncilpta.org/contact-us/
Why Volunteer for PTA Council?
(This article first appeared in SDUCPTA’s February 2022 newsletter.)
Hopefully, as leaders of your schools’ PTA boards, you already understand and have realized the benefits of involvement at the unit level. You may wonder, though, what are the benefits of getting involved in PTA leadership at the Council level? We understand that the rewards seem less immediate, since Council actions don’t appear to directly affect your children or their schools. However, it is vitally important that engaged and knowledgeable parents volunteer to remain involved at the Council level to improve the outcomes for all children in our district.
1. Put your knowledge and experience to use!
There is often a steep learning curve when it comes to getting involved at the school site and district level to effect change for our students. Many parents find that they are just hitting their stride when, in what seems like a blink of an eye, their elementary school age children move on to middle or high school. While PTA involvement is still critically important at the secondary level, the truth of the matter is that the intensity of engagement required can be much different for our older students. Just as we think we have a handle on how to navigate the district and school administration, our kids don’t seem to need us in that way as much. But what to do with all this hard-won expertise? A great way to put it to work for all children would be to get involved at the Council level.
2. Direct access to district leadership
A significant benefit of being on the Council board is that board members have direct access to district leadership. We meet monthly with the superintendent and share your (and our) concerns with him and his staff. Liaisons from the district and teachers union attend our monthly board meetings. Council PTA is automatically invited to have representatives on the district Calendar Committee, ICOC, and other advisory committees, such as the superintendent search committee. This is the kind of access not always granted to other parent groups.
3. Elevate parent voices
During the debate on whether and when to reopen schools during the pandemic lockdown, our Council president made frequent media appearances to represent families’ and PTA’s views. She was able to do this because of the esteem that the PTA brand has earned over the years. This high visibility and respect strengthens and elevates parent voices, which is even more important during times when it might feel like other powerful interest groups have different agendas.
4. Regret management
It may seem like many education policies or district decisions are out of our hands, but that is really only true if we don’t get involved. And while sometimes change can seem infuriatingly slow, it can only happen at all if dedicated and passionate advocates demand that change. Even if the needle doesn’t move enough to make a direct impact on our children before they graduate, think how we will feel if our grandchildren face the same issues that frustrate us now.
5. Involvement can be as much or as little work as you like
There are so many different ways to get involved, and they can take as much or as little time as you like. There is an opportunity to get involved no matter how much time you are able to commit. Please reach out to us to learn about all the different ways you can help.
We know these past two years have been difficult. Limits on parent access to campuses have made the immediate rewards of volunteering at schools even less obvious, and the stresses of parenting during a global pandemic may make people reluctant to take on anything more. It is in the most challenging times, however, that we need knowledgeable and experienced volunteers more than ever. Please consider joining us to continue to make a difference for your children and all children in our district.